We’ve all had situations when only a few minutes after the interview our brain starts bringing back all the awkward moments that happened inside. We just can’t believe that we got the interviewer’s name wrong, or that we totally flubbed an answer. But these things can happen, and most interviewers expect that their candidates aren’t perfect and that they’ll make some mistakes during the interview. What they don’t expect and won’t appreciate is you coming to the meeting completely unprepared. Here are five interviewing mistakes you can easily avoid:
Not preparing for the interview. This is maybe the biggest mistake you can make when having a job interview. You should know that going through the announced job description and quickly checking the company website isn’t enough preparation if you really want the job. In the days before the interview spend some time thinking of possible questions and exercise your answers to them. Also, try to pull some specific examples from your past work experiences that will show the interviewer how you’ve excelled.
Not researching the interviewer. You won’t be caught off guard if the interviewer asks you about the old boss who didn’t like you much if you’ve already checked his/her LinkedIn profile and saw that they know each other. Reading the interviewer’s biography on the company website might also tip you off that he/she has similar background and interests as you, so you might get a lot of questions on that common subject.
Coming late to the interview. Leaving for an interview only few minutes earlier than you assume is needed to get to the location, isn’t cleaver at all. Only a small accident on the road is enough to prolong everything, and that little time you thought you had will totally disappear, which means you’ll end up arriving late to the interview. Since it’s almost impossible to recover from the impression you’ll make if you come late for an interview, it is advised to give yourself a buffer of about an hour. If you get there too early, you can sit in some nearby coffee shop or just kill the extra time in your car.
Wearing inappropriate outfits. The IT industry might be an exception, but in almost all other industries it is expected the candidate to show up for the interview dressed formally, even if the interviewers are more casually dressed themselves. Pick out clothes that you feel comfortable in, so that you won’t have to constantly adjust them during the interview. Your hair also needs to be neat and in place; you need to look polished and groomed. The ladies should choose makeup that looks professional, and not heavy-handed.
Not being prepared to talk about salary. The conversation about the salary is often uncomfortable for those searching for a job, so instead of doing some research and thinking ahead of time in order to be prepared for the subject, they choose to not consider how they’ll handle that question if it arises during the interview. They are making a huge disservice to themselves with that decision, because they are leaving the employers to decide their pay and they’ll probably offer less than they were expecting or would’ve demanded.